Thursday, July 11, 2013

charles dickens | on declining an invitation from a friend

‘It is only half an hour’ — ‘It is only an afternoon’ — ‘It is only an evening,’ people say to me over and over again; but they don’t know that it is impossible to command one’s self sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes — or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometime worry a whole day. Who ever is devoted to an art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and to find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it; I must go in my way whether or no.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

ruschka | every week, alone, for two or three days

We went back to Culver City and looked at photographs of the small, concrete-block house that Ruscha has owned for forty years in the California High Desert, near Joshua Tree National Monument. he designed it himself, with blueprints provided by his friend Frank Gehry in 1976. The property has an outdoor painting studio, a wind-powered generator, solar panels for heating, and plenty of wildlife, including rattlesnakes. Ruscha tries to go there every week, alone, for two or three days; he paints, takes long walks, watches baseball on TV (the Dodgers or the Red Sox), does maintenance work on the house, and reads. I have periods when I feel frustrated living in Los Angeles, when the traffic bothers me and I hate the place. But then I feel differently and I want to come back."

from "Ed Ruscha's L.A." by Calvin Tomkins
The New Yorker, July 1, 2013